REA­SONS TO BE CHEER­FUL!

Russ Dou­glas is back - and he’s bet­ter than he was

Airgun World - - New Club! -

Whilst re­view­ing the P320 for the Oc­to­ber is­sue, I was ini­tially dis­ap­pointed with my first groups in­doors at 10m. I con­soled my­self that it’s in­tended to be more of a fun/plinking pis­tol af­ter all, rather than a high-scor­ing pa­per puncher. Re­cently, I gave it another chance af­ter get­ting de­cent re­sults out­doors at 6m out­side, against the pel­let tin tar­gets – where I could re­as­sur­ingly hit the tins 10/10, off­hand and seated.

Lo and be­hold, I got a 30-shot group at 10m of just un­der 8cm/3”; this was seated, two-handed, with my left el­bow rest­ing on the shoot­ing ta­ble.

AL­WAYS ROOM FOR IM­PROVE­MENT

My in­tro­duc­tion to airguns was with a sec­ond­hand .22 We­b­ley Tem­pest, in my par­ent’s gar­den, and I very nearly bought one last week at a lo­cal RFD for old time’s sake. I man­aged to re­sist – sorry Gra­ham, at Sloan’s – when think­ing of the C02 pis­tols I al­ready have to which I’m not yet fully ac­cus­tomed. Gen­er­ally, I’m not a nat­u­rally ac­cu­rate pis­tol shooter, but I aim to work on that, es­pe­cially in­doors in the com­ing cold win­ter months.

LEAD­ING-UP THE BAR­REL – DEF­I­NITELY LE­GIT

At the start of the year, I bought a new Dan Wes­son 715 8” re­volver. I was se­duced by the vis­ual ap­peal of the gun, as well as hop­ing that the 8” ri­fled bar­rel would help to pro­duce some good groups down­range. I was ini­tially dis­ap­pointed, and then blamed the gun it­self af­ter re­al­is­ing that the ‘8” bar­rel, ri­fled’ – quot­ing the pack­ag­ing; note it’s care­fully worded not to men­tion 8” of ri­fled bar­rel. It is ac­tu­ally an 8” long, bull-style, over-bar­rel shroud, 6mm in­side di­am­e­ter, with a 2.5” long .177” ri­fled sleeve within. The RFD Core94 checked with their sup­plier (ASG) and were told, ‘that’s how it comes”, so no come­back there.

Feel­ing some­what dis­grun­tled, like I’d bought a pig in a poke, I sold the DW on to a friend, Bri, af­ter mak­ing him aware of the shorter ri­fled sleeve, in the in­ter­est of hon­esty be­tween friends.

A few months later, Bri showed me some very re­spectable groups shot with the DW, so I nat­u­rally felt that I can’t be that good a shot; I must be the weak link af­ter all, but re­cent fol­low-up shoot­ing in­doors at 10m with the SIG P320 saw me putting 30 shots within the di­am­e­ter of a pel­let tin.

THE PENNY DROPS

I be­lieve there are two rea­sons for my im­prove­ment:

“I ad­justed for el­e­va­tion by aim­ing at the low edge of the in­ner white ring”

1. This was a few weeks prior to read­ing fel­low con­trib­u­tor, and more ex­pe­ri­enced pis­tol shot, John Milewski’s ex­cel­lent ar­ti­cle in the cur­rent Oc­to­ber is­sue of AGW. My grey cell re­mem­bered from who knows where that I’m sup­posed to be fo­cus­ing on the fore sight, then align­ing that and the rear sight, and then lin­ing these two up UN­DER­NEATH the blurry dot of the tar­get bulls­eye. I think I’d been try­ing to aim in­stinc­tively, whilst fo­cus­ing on the cen­tre of the tar­get it­self.

John men­tioned a tip he uses, leav­ing a lit­tle bit of white be­tween the aligned sights and the blurry tar­get, which then led me to re­alise that all tar­gets are not the same. Ba­si­cally, if the black bull is 1” di­am­e­ter and with non-ad­justable sights I’m shoot­ing 2” high, I should try a tar­get with a larger bull, e.g. nearer 3” or 4”, to avoid hav­ing to aim-off ver­ti­cally.

2. My sec­ond con­clu­sion was a com­bi­na­tion of fur­ther shoot­ing with the SIG P320, and Bri’s ex­pe­ri­ence with the ri­fled DW 715. I’ve con­cluded that new pis­tols might well take a while to lead-up and set­tle-in to get the best out of their ac­cu­racy po­ten­tial. This was ex­plained quite well in a re­cent ar­ti­cle I read whereby lead build-up is per­haps fill­ing in and smooth­ing out im­per­fec­tions in the bar­rel, and so a boon to ac­cu­rate shoot­ing.

SELF-CHECK

As if to pro­vide a con­ve­nient self-check that I re­ally can hit a barn door af­ter all, I also shot with the wee Gamo PT-80 pis­tol at 10m the same evening – same am­bi­ent con­di­tions etc., and shot sev­eral very re­spectable groups, the best of which was 1.3” di­am­e­ter, also us­ing two hands, seated off­hand and rest­ing my left el­bow on the shoot­ing ta­ble.

Here, af­ter a few mag­a­zine’s-worth of test shots, I ad­justed for el­e­va­tion by aim­ing at the low edge of the in­ner white ring. Af­ter the ini­tial shots im­pacted 2” to the left, I then aimed off the same dis­tance to the right – see the ‘X’ on the tar­get photo. In time, I’ll see if I can drift the front or rear sight, one of which is man­u­ally ad­justable, I hope, to cor­rect for the windage, but I’m very happy with a 1.3” group from a mostly plas­tic CO2 pis­tol with a 4” bar­rel at 10m.

Hope all this helps some of you – and en­joy your shoot­ing!

UK SOURCES:

1. SIG P320, RWS Ba­sic pel­lets (7gr), 12gm Umarex CO2 & Pell­gun Oil: BAR (Black­pool Air Ri­fles / air­gun­buyer.com) 2. GAMO PT-80 pis­tol: gift from a friend pre-Scot­tish li­cens­ing, who in­her­ited it but opted not to get a li­cence him­self, and wanted it to go to a good home. I

Shooter ready! Mags loaded and tar­get head­ing down­range.

Im­proved SIG P320 10m 30-shot group in­doors.

Load­ing the Gamo with its 8-shot plas­tic mag’.

De­cent 1.3” group from the Gamo PT-80 at 10m.

I ad­justed my aim to cen­tre the shots.

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